WARRIORS ROUND 19 PLAYER RATINGS

Marks out of 10 for a heartening yet frustrating Sunday arvo at Mount Smart as the Warriors went down 12-6 to the Storm.

1 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (c): Outstanding at the back, ran for 199 metres and was busy on attack, though his timing coming into the line was slightly off when the Warriors desperately needed another ball-playing point of attack. Still first-class, though – something dramatic would have to happen for RTS to be denied back-to-back club Player of the Year gongs. 8

2 DAVID FUSITU’A: Nabbed a try-assist with some trademark aerial work and coming in for his customary workload, finishing with 101 metres from 12 runs. Solid but unspectacular, save for his early jump. 7

3 GERARD BEALE: Very impressive showing. Linked beautifully with Johnson and Fus to cause the Storm defence regular headaches. Did a fine job on the dangerous Curtis Scott in defence, too, which should see him keep Peta Hiku out of the side for the rest of the year. 7.5

4 SOLOMONE KATA: Some strong ball-carrying efforts – particularly in the second half – to finish with 109 metres on 12 carries but his defensive errors were crucial to both Storm tries and his double-movement was a real face-palm moment. Mixed bag. 6

5 KEN MAUMALO: Streeted the field with 23 carries for 216 metres in another freakish effort with the ball at the Warriors’ end. But his magnificent defensive performance was arguably even better. Being outjumped by Vunivalu for the Storm’s vital try on halftime was the only negative, which he more than made up for by shutting down the big Fijian otherwise and coming up with some great reads, plus some physical stops on a roaming Josh Addo-Carr. His powerhouse kick-return was disgustingly brought undone by the referees’ unabashed adulation of Cameron Smith. 8.5

18 MASON LINO: Slotted in for Blake Green but certainly didn’t match the veteran’s poise. Patchy as in attack and did little to take the heat off of Johnson. Forced a repeat set but it was with a momentum-killing grubber on the third tackle. Racked up 15 tackles in a serviceable defensive display. 5.5

7 SHAUN JOHNSON: Excellent first half with super-high involvement to compensate for Green’s absence, while also maintaining his role as the chief attacking spark. Much quieter after the break, which emphasised Green’s importance. But SJ was very good in defence and it’s hard to be critical when he played largely a lone hand in the halves, and played it pretty well. 7.5

8 JAMES GAVET: Rousing start to the game and produced a few handy clean-up plays, but 15 tackles and seven runs for 59 metres for a starting prop wasn’t up to scratch up against Bromwich and Asofa-Solomona. 6

9 ISSAC LUKE: Great early spark from dummy-half but it became apparent well before halftime that he was less than a hundred. Only tallied 17 metres and 11 tackles in an hour on the field – the prognosis on his injury (which seemed to be his troublesome shoulder, but apparently it was a calf that forced him off) will have a massive bearing on the Warriors’ run home. 6

10 AGNATIUS PAASI: An underwhelming first stint but responded after halftime to finish with 104 metres – considerably more than any other Warriors forwards – and 24 tackles. Still, nowhere near the impact of last week’s best-on-ground display. 6.5

11 ISAIAH PAPALI’I: There’s a lot of Tohu Harris about young ‘Papa’, and he seemed to be everywhere. But a couple of lamentable plays – like taking it solo on the last deep in Storm territory in the second half – were a reminder of how raw he is still. 6.5

12 SIMON MANNERING: Easily his best performance of the year last week prior to his retirement announcement, arguably his most frustrating after it. Several errors and conceded penalties meant a stock-standard workhorse performance of 11 runs and 27 tackles finished on the debit side of the ledger. Admitted post-match he was flat after an emotion-charged week, which is understandale. 5.5

13 ADAM BLAIR: A needless late hit that gave the Storm a last-tackle penalty as the clock wound down was Blair at his most exasperating (though it wasn’t really that late), but overall he was probably the Warriors’ best forward. Far more involved with the ball in recent weeks (nine runs for 63 metres today) and 21 tackles and played with a lot of presence. We’ve been iffy on him for most of the year but really enjoyed his contributions over the last three weeks. 7.5

14 JAZZ TEVAGA: The Warriors’ busiest bee with a mammoth 44 tackles off the bench, while he also had 12 runs (more than any other Warriors forward) for 88 metres. Great impact before having to fil in for the injured Luke. On one hand, the Warriors are lucky their most industrious forward can plug a gap at hooker. On the other, there’s part of us that wishes he wasn’t a dummy-half option because it stunts the Warriors around the ruck and Tevaga’s effectiveness. 7

15 CHRIS SATAE: Playing against the team he looked set to join in 2019, Satae was particularly impressive in a pack that generally battled for go-forward. Chewed threw nine runs for 74 metres and 18 runs to cement his standing as the Warriors’ fourth prop ahead of Sam Lisone. 7

16 JOSEPH VUNA: Genuine impact on the right edge from the teenager, making four line-bending runs. Realistically he won’t be in a full-strength 17 later in the year, but really excited about what this guy can do for the Warriors in the future. 6.5

21 BUNTY AFOA: Arguably the Warriors’ best middle forward in 2018, it was tremendous to see Bunty make a return after just two weeks out when he was slated for a layoff of a month or more. Picked up where he left off with 22 tackles and eight runs for 83 metres. Welcome back. 7

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